McCormick homers twice, drives in four runs to lead Astros over Red Sox


HOUSTON (AP) — Chas McCormick homered twice and had four RBIs to lead the Houston Astros to a 9-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.

The Astros bounced back after a three-game sweep by the Seattle Mariners this weekend. Houston opened its four-game series with a victory over Boston, which was coming off a sweep of the New York Yankees.

“We need to play like that every time we take the field,” Houston third baseman Alex Bregman said.

Adam Duvall hit a three-run homer off Cristian Javier (9-2) in the first to put the Red Sox up early. But Houston quickly jumped on James Paxton (7-4) to erase the deficit.

Yordan Alvarez drove in a run in the bottom of the first and the Astros scored three in the second to go on top 4-3.

McCormick connected off Paxton on a three-run shot in the fourth to push the lead to 7-3.

“It was tough obviously to go down 3-0 early,” McCormick said. “But, that’s baseball, you’ve got to fight back. It’s a long game … and we’re a good team and we can come back and I’m happy with how we stayed strong mentally and we kept putting good at bats all the way through.”

McCormick added a solo shot off Chris Murphy with one out in the eighth, and the Astros went back-to-back when Yainer Diaz followed with a homer to the seats in right field to make it 9-4.

Javier allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings for his second straight win.

Paxton yielded nine hits and seven runs — both season highs — while tying a season high with three walks in just four innings.

Paxton wasn’t helped by two errors by his defense, and manager Alex Cora said it was one of his team’s “sloppiest” defensive games in weeks.

“The walks put him in a bad spot,” Cora said. “The line looks bad, but I think stuff-wise he was good. I think we gave them too many chances defensively.”

But Paxton didn’t make any excuses for his performance.

“I just didn’t have it today,” he said. “It didn’t feel great coming out of my hand, but I tried to give it everything I had and battle for the team.”

Alex Verdugo hit a leadoff double before a one-out single by Masataka Yoshida. There were two outs in the inning when Duvall’s home run to left field made it 3-0. It’s the 10th straight game with at least one homer for the Red Sox.

Jose Altuve singled to start the bottom of the first and Alex Bregman walked. The Astros loaded the bases when Kyle Tucker reached on catcher interference by Reese McGuire.

Houston cut the lead to 3-1 when Altuve scored on a sacrifice fly by Alvarez.

Jake Meyers singled with no outs in the second and stole second base. Martín Maldonado doubled off the wall in left field to score Meyers and cut the lead to 1. There was one out in the inning when Bregman singled on a grounder to left field to score Maldonadoand tie it at 3.

Tucker singled before Houston took the lead on an RBI single by Alvarez.

Paxton walked Bregman and Tucker with one out in the fourth. Alvarez then grounded into a force out that left Tucker out at second. McCormick then connected on his 18th homer this season to push the lead to 7-3.

Seth Martinez walked Jose Urias to start the sixth and the Red Sox loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers. Urias scored on a groundout by Yoshida to cut the lead to 7-4.

But Martinez retired Triston Casas before striking out Duvall to end the inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: OF Jarren Duran sat out Monday after leaving Sunday’s game in the sixth inning with a bruised left toe. Cora said they hope he can avoid a trip to the injured list, but that they’ll know more Tuesday. … Casas returned to the lineup Monday after missing Sunday’s game because of a tooth infection.

UP NEXT

Boston RHP Tanner Houck (3-6, 5.05 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start since he sustained a facial fracture from a line drive June 16, when the series continues Tuesday night. Cora said he will be limited to about 75 pitches in his return. Justin Verlander (8-6, 3.36) will start for Houston.



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